Hitting A Home Run With Consumers – Personalize the Experience
Consumers are inundated with information. More and more our lives are being dictated by pushes, news feeds, social posts…you name it…whatever happens in the techno-sphere- we get it. The pandemic has only brought this more to the forefront.
Technology, as beneficial as it is and can be for a variety of reasons, also complicates and is a trigger for anxiety, and stress. We are, more than ever in an era of information overload. Much of the information is useless, unwarranted, and unwanted. Time wasters.
These new “Roaring ’20s’ and the oft-used ‘new normal’, will turn the consumption of information, and personalized consumerism into the equivalent of the advent of the Model-T, sound in movies, television, the moon landing – all into one, times 1000. It is difficult to predict what the next week not to imagine the next decade will deliver. In the world of 5G (6G!?) and IoT, technological changes will touch every aspect of our lives the extent to which is anyone’s guess.
One thing we can predict is that no matter the technology that is brought into our everyday lives, the needs and demands stemming from us as consumers of information will set the pace for development.
So how and where do businesses like those in the retail and hospitality sectors focus? It is difficult enough for a bricks-and-mortar business to compete at a local level, not to mention online. Entrepreneurs who run these businesses are busy just managing their operations- the day-to-day activities of the business. As we begin the process of re-opening our economies post COVID, businesses will be inundated with various hurdles to manage. Staffing. Supply. Operations. Nothing new here except the face of the consumer has changed significantly during the COVID crisis. Now consumers demand more convenience in their shopping experiences than ever before. Online, curbside, in-store, the consumers dictate. So as businesses juggle the daily operations, they must now cope with understanding how to service consumers through effective, creative marketing channels to gain trust, loyalty, and retention.
And competition is fierce for customer loyalty is fierce.
So how can bricks and mortar businesses hit a home run? It sounds simple but…service. Service and personalized attention are areas where online retailers are often at a disadvantage.
As one example, legacy retailers who offer a traditional physical location are now leaders in the BOPIS model. Consumer adoption of this convenient service is growing. Click and pick-up delivers a level of personalization that click and deliver cannot. It is one area that delivers a competitive advantage to brick-and-mortar businesses. A home run.
We are social creatures are we not? Has the pandemic reinforced this? Obviously. Think back (like pre-COVID!) can you remember an excellent, personalized experience you received at a physical place of business versus that great personalized experience of picking your parcel off the front porch, or driveway?
Retailers and restaurants can also tap into software that engages customers on a personal level and creates an environment that delivers a very strong sense of loyalty and hence retention. The engagement, acquisition, and retention of customers on a personal, real-time level delivers another competitive advantage for the bricks-and-mortar business over a strictly online delivery service. Businesses can capitalize on personalized, timely, location marketing platforms that help create and establish a stronger sense of loyalty with customers and communities who are looking for the ultimate consumer experience. This could drive a strong defense against the encroachment of online retailers like Amazon, which is not and may never be a go-to brick and mortar retailer.
Micheal Burnatowski is Co-Founder of Airbrowz Mobile Technologies Inc. a digital marketing platform providing businesses with mobile app solutions.